The Academic Center brings faculty and students together to focus on learning in mathematics and English in a unique custom built environment. Three adjoining storefront spaces were transformed to create a tutoring center in the midst of faculty offices, so that students have easy access to their professors and the Academic Dean. Development of the project required close collaboration between the design team and faculty to gain an understanding of the different types of learning environments that would be helpful in working with the students. Our team of architectural designers, furniture designers, and fabricators from our affiliated multidisciplinary design studio, Think Fabricate, designed custom furnishing elements and prefabricated wall systems for the facility. These included custom designed tables where two students and a teacher share a sliding white board and computer monitor but each have their own key board; custom designed tables configured for group meetings; and faculty work tables in prefabricated offices for one-on-one tutoring. The center is visible through newly created window openings which feature glass in a gradient of transparencies. Dark colors were used to distinguish the center from the rest of the hallway. A new security desk and a reception desk were designed to further establish the unique character of the facility.
American School & University Outstanding Design Award 2011